The expansion of towns and cities all over the world has increased at a very vertical rate in recent years.
In fact, there seems to be a great deal of competition between cities to see who can build the world's most impressive supertalls.
Having the world's tallest building can bring tourism revenue and glory to its host city, although it is not a title that many cities hold on to for very long.
Thanks to the marvel of modern engineering that is ever-changing with the times, buildings keep growing higher, higher, and higher.
In developing countries, tall buildings are attractive as they offer an impressive way to “announce themselves” in the global business world.
This article delves into the tallest buildings in Kenya according to Emporis. (Emporis is a leading database of information about building and construction projects, based in Germany)
It will also take a brief look into some of the world’s tallest skyscrapers.
Tallest buildings in Kenya
Nairobi is the capital and largest city of Kenya. It is, therefore, the place where you will find most of the tallest buildings in Kenya.
The era of building skyscrapers in Kenya started in late 1960 when the city had its first tower and ever since, this trend has continued so that in Nairobi today, you will find lots of high-rise buildings.
Here is a list of the tallest buildings in Kenya:
1. The Pinnacle
In 2018, His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta laid the foundation stone of Africa’s tallest building, once complete, The Pinnacle in Nairobi’s Upperhill area.
Its construction is undergoing and the building will bear testimony to the rise of Nairobi as a regional economic and business centre.
The Pinnacle once completed is set to rise 300m (1,000 feet ) into the Nairobi skyline.
The building shall host 150 posh apartments and include a helipad.
It will also house 42 floors of high-end residential apartments, 20 Grade- A offices and 5 floors of shopping space among other luxuriant facilities.
The Pinnacle is being constructed by Hass Petroleum and White Lotus, the latter Dubai-based investors and will cost a whopping US$ 194m for it to be complete.
2. Britam Tower
Britam Tower was built as a commercial tower and is owned by British-American Investments Company.
The skyscraper has a maximum height of 195 metres, above ground, with 32 usable floors. It is the second-tallest building in Africa by pinnacle height at 200 m (660 ft).
The building is the international headquarters of Britam. It features a unique prismic shape that starts as an equal four-sided square footprint and ends with a two-sided roof with a 60 metres (197 ft) mast, containing three helical wind turbines.
Britam Tower has a total of 350,000 square feet (32,516 m2) of office space to let for commercial purposes.
The building has an attached 12 storey car park that can accommodate up to 1,000 vehicles which cater to its many tenants.
3. UAP Tower
UAP Old Mutual Tower is a 33-storey office complex in the Upper Hill neighborhood of Nairobi, Kenya owned by UAP Old Mutual Group, a financial services conglomerate headquartered in Kenya, with subsidiaries in six African countries.
The tower rises at 163 m (535 ft) financed through private equity at a total of US $40,000,000 as of (2015).
It has rentable space that measures 29,000 square metres (310,000 sq ft) and is expected to house the UAP Old Mutual Group headquarters.
4. The Times Tower
The Times Tower, also known as the New Central Bank Tower, is an office tower in Nairobi, Kenya. At 140 metres (459 feet).
With 38 floors, along with a 7-storey banking complex and an 11-split storey car park, it is served by 10 elevators.
The building is designed to resist earthquakes and is set on a concrete raft varying in thickness from 0.9 to 3.0 m (2 ft 11 in to 9 ft 10 in).
The only tenant of the building is the Kenya Revenue Authority, who use it for tax remissions and administration, and it serves as a location for taxpayer education.
4. The Kings Prism Towers
The 29-storey Prism Tower by Kings Developers commands the Nairobi’s skyline at 133 metres with its design of prisms that appear stacked upon prisms.
“The concept of the jewel is the inspiration for the design and architecture behind the making of this iconic tower,” states Kings Developers. During the sunrise and sunset, when the sun emits golden rays, the vivid colours create the magical facets of a fine-cut jewel.
5. Le Mac
If you are afraid of heights, you might want to rethink your visit to Le’Mac.
Located in Westlands Nairobi, the 24 storey building rises at 102 m with the new skywalk balcony with a transparent floor, wall, and railing.
The 12mm double glazed glass on this sky-walk juts out 2 Metres and can hold 16 – 20 people at the same time.
When you look straight down, you will be treated to the heart-dropping view of cars driving 102 metres below your feet and people walking on the street while you float over the city.
Inspired by Dubai style living, Le’Mac is a mixed development with office spaces from the 1st to the 6th floor and luxurious 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments from the 8th to 22nd floor.
The structure that is on 1.32 Acres of land took five years to complete.
This 26-storey Parliament Tower building at 125 metres currently under construction, is expected to cost Ksh5.8 billion, including an underground tunnel at a cost of Ksh110 million, that will cross under Harambee Avenue road to parliament buildings.
7. Teleposta Towers
It is 120 metres in height with 27 floors. Situated down Kenyatta Avenue in the heart of the city, it was completed in 1999 after being started in 1996.
It houses Telkom Kenya and Kenya's Ministry of Information and Communications and Kenya Ministry of Trade.
The building was designed by Anthony Gleeson and constructed by Laxmanbhai Construction.
8. Kenya Commercial Bank Plaza (KCB Plaza)
The skyscraper is located in Upper Hill, Nairobi and has twenty-one storeys consisting of approximately 171,800 square feet (15,961 m2) of rentable office space and enough parking for about four hundred and fifty automobiles.
Kenya Commercial Bank Group is the main tenant.
Construction began in December 2010 and the building was completed in 2015.
The building is owned by the Kenya Commercial Bank Employee Pension Fund.
The main contractor was China Wu Yi Company Limited.
The building is fitted with solar panels to supplement the power from the national grid.
It also has the ability to harvest and treat rainwater for use in the building. It is also fitted with water recycling capability, thereby reducing the cost of running the skyscraper.
9. The Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC)
The Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC), formerly the Kenyatta International Conference Centre, is a 28-story building at 105.2 metres.
It is located in the City Square of Nairobi and is a crucial address for a number of Government offices, including those of elected Senators.
It is an internationally renowned venue for conferences, meetings, exhibitions and special events within walking distance of several five-star hotels.
10. Social Security House (National Social Security Fund Building)
Social Security House is a 28-story skyscraper in Nairobi, Kenya at 103 metres high.
This Building is among the largest buildings in UpperHill and houses many offices including Governmental and Privately owned offices.
The building hosts the National Social Security Fund which is a Kenyan government agency responsible for the collection, safekeeping, responsible investment and distribution of retirement funds.
It has extensive views of the city which is very advantageous to visit on the roof to view all there is.
11. I & M Bank Tower
The 18 storey building at 99 metres high is located on Kenyatta Avenue, in Nairobi's central business district, adjacent to the Kenyan headquarters of CFC Stanbic Bank.
Completed in 2001,the tower is the main headquarters for I&M Bank Limited (I&M Bank), the lynchpin of the I&M Bank Group.
In the past, the building also served as the headquarters of the Standard Group, which includes The Standard newspaper and Kenya Television Network station.
12. Pan Africa Insurance Plaza
Pan Africa Insurance is currently building a 20-storey office complex in Westlands, Nairobi, as it seeks to supplement the income from its core business.
The office block that is tipped to be one of the tallest buildings along Waiyaki Way will see Pan Africa relocating from its Kenyatta Avenue headquarters and earn rental income from corporate tenants.
13. Nyayo House
It is located at the corner of Uhuru highway and Kenyatta Avenue housing several government departments like the immigration(the State Department for Immigration, Border Control, and Regulation of Persons).
Construction of the building started in 1979, one year after Daniel Arap Moi took over as the president of Kenya and was completed in 1983. It stands at 84 metres high with 27 floors.
Nyayo House is particularly known for its detention facilities in its basement, often called as "Nyayo House torture chambers". Many opponents of the Moi government were beaten there by Special Branch officials.
14. Cooperative Bank House
Cooperative Bank House is a 25-story high-rise building in Nairobi, Kenya at 83 metres.
The belly bottom trouser design inspired architecture make this building not just a masterpiece but a piece of a fashion statement. It’s one of a kind design in the continent and the whole world especially after it withstood the August 7, 1998 bomb blast.
The Nation Centre building is a 17-story high-rise building located along Kimathi Street, Nairobi at 83 metres high.
The magnificent twin towers, which hosts one of the country's leading media houses, NTV has become the most ideal place for Nairobians who are meeting with other people within the central business district.
16. National Bank House
The skyscraper belongs to the National bank of Kenya and one of the oldest buildings you will find in Nairobi.
Located at Harambee Avenue, it has 21 storeys and is 82 metres high.
17. Rahimtulla Tower
Rahimtulla Tower, also known as the Rahimtulla Trust Building, is an 18 storey tower in the Upper Hill neighbourhood of Nairobi, Kenya standing at 80 metres high.
The tower is a reinforced concrete structure and clad with blue-tinted glass and white louvre tiles.
The tower has twenty-two storeys, including a double floor-height lobby, plus two basement floors.
The building is capped by a 30-metre high mast, for television and radio communication. The main tenants are iWay Africa, PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Dhanush InfoTech.
18. Anniversary Towers
Anniversary Towers property is situated adjacent to AMBANK House and lies along University Way and Monrovia Lane, overlooking Maendeleo House within Nairobi City Centre.
Anniversary Towers prestigious development comprises a twenty-two (22) storey commercial building, 80 metre high, beautifully finished in mosaic tiles and tinted glass cladding.
It boasts of high-speed lifts and is served by a standby generator and it is connected to mains for all services. There are two basement parking levels providing ample and secure parking space for the tenants.
A wide variety of tenants can be found in the building including government departments, embassies, and other institutions.
19. Lonrho House
Lonrho House is one of the most impressive constructions of the city. Glittering in the sun its glass facade reflects the surrounding buildings.
Built-in 1990, it was the flagship of a prominent Eastern African hotel chain. Lonrho House is 80 meters tall and consists of 22 floors.
The property is situated along Aga Khan Walk and Taifa Road, almost directly opposite the High Court and Nairobi Cinema within Nairobi City Centre.
It is located at the heart of the Nairobi CBD close to major Government departments like the Treasury, KRA, Foreign Affairs, Deputy President’s Office, Office of the President and Attorney General.
It is an 18 storey building comprising offices on 17 upper floors and shops on the Ground and Mezanine floors.It stands at 77 metres high.
The World’s Tallest Skyscrapers
Skyscrapers are very tall buildings that define a city’s skyline.
1. The Burj Khalifa, in Dubai, UAE, opened is the tallest building in the world at 2,723 feet.
The tower is part of an effort by Dubai to support a strong tourist economy and a major plank to transform the economy from oil-based to more service- and tourism-oriented.
2. The world’s second tallest building, The Shanghai Tower, cost $4.2 billion and is 2,073 feet tall with 121 floors.
3. The third tallest building is the Makkah Royal Clock Tower Hotel in Saudi Arabia.
4. The world’s fourth tallest building is the One World Trade Center, New York City, USA, built as an emotional reaction to 9/11, and the centerpiece of the New York skyline.
5. The CTF Finance Centre in Guangzhou, China, is the world’s fifth tallest building, completed in 2016.
6. This is followed by Taipei 101 (1,667 feet), and which was awarded by Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) as the tallest green building in the world.
7. The Shanghai World Financial Center (1,614 feet, 101 floors) and Petronas Towers 1 and 2, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, complete the list of the world’s top ten tallest buildings.
Source: The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH)